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You probably know that you can hire an attorney when you need legal help or advice, but how do you know which one to hire when there are more than 1.35 million lawyers in this country?
The truth is that finding the best attorney might take some work. It might also require some interviews.
In fact, interviewing a lawyer is the best way to determine if they’re the right match for you. But what questions should you ask?
Here is a guide to help you know the best questions to ask before hiring a lawyer.
When Did You Start Practicing Law?
Experience is always a plus when hiring any professional, and lawyers are no exception to this rule. Therefore, you might ask the lawyer about his years practicing law.
The point of asking is to determine the lawyer’s experience. For example, a lawyer fresh out of law school might have book knowledge but lack real-world legal experience.
Real-world legal experience helps a lawyer learn about real situations. Lawyers learn the law during school, but working for clients offers the experience a lawyer needs to help others.
The best lawyer will have years of experience assisting clients with issues and legal tasks. As a result, you might look for an attorney with at least five years of experience. You might even prefer more experience than five years.
You might also ask about the various law firms where they’ve worked. After all, they might have the experience you’re looking for if they’ve worked with highly experienced lawyers in the field you need.
What Is Your Expertise?
Secondly, you might ask about their expertise. While you can find more than a million professionals practicing law, there are many types of lawyers, each with their own expertise.
For example, do you need assistance with a foreclosure or bankruptcy? If so, you can look for a lawyer specializing in these law categories.
On the other hand, you might search for a nationwide PTSD attorney if you’re suffering from PTSD from serving in the military.
Some lawyers consider themselves general practice attorneys. These lawyers handle any cases clients present. They might know a little about each category but don’t specialize in one particular branch.
However, other attorneys specialize in just one or two branches of law. These lawyers know the ins and outs of these branches and are experts. This type of attorney is the best to find for most legal issues.
What Experience Do You Have With Similar Cases?
As you search the legal industry for a lawyer who specializes in the branch of law you’re looking for, you might ask an additional question. For example, you could ask if they have experience with similar cases.
While the lawyer might specialize in the correct branch of law, it’s still wise to discuss your case with them. Then, you can ask what experience they have with cases like yours.
Every branch of law is broad, which means it covers many different situations. If the lawyer has never worked with a situation like yours, they might not have enough knowledge to help you.
However, there’s a good chance they’ve handled similar situations if they specialize in the correct branch of law for your case.
What Do You Expect for the Outcome?
After discussing your case and situation with the attorney, you might pose the question, “what do you expect the outcome to be?”
This question is probably one of the most important as you narrow down your list of attorneys. After all, the outcome is the primary effect you’ll have from the case.
Most attorneys will ask numerous questions before providing an answer to this question. First, they might ask you to start by describing the situation. Next, they might ask about the evidence you have to prove your case.
A lawyer will need to know the facts before providing an answer. Therefore, you’ll get a clearer answer by providing more details and evidence at your appointment.
How Much Will You Charge?
Additionally, you might wonder about the fees. It’s not unusual for lawyers to charge $100 an hour, but many charge even more. Highly specialized lawyers might charge $300 an hour or more.
Most attorneys offer estimates when meeting with clients. They might not be able to tell you the exact costs for the services upfront, but they can give you a range.
For example, a lawyer might state that the services will be between $1,500 to $2,500. A range gives you an approximate amount to assume for the services but doesn’t give you the exact costs.
In some cases, lawyers charge contingency fees, and they’ll tell you this if they do. A contingent fee means you pay a percentage of the money you win in your case and pay nothing if you lose the case.
What Contact Method Do You Prefer?
If you’re leaning toward a particular lawyer, you could also ask about how to contact the lawyer if you need them. For example, does the lawyer take phone calls from clients?
Many lawyers accept emails or texts, while some use phone calls only. You can ask to find out.
Additionally, you can ask if the lawyer works alone or with a team. Asking about this is also vital, as it reveals if you’ll work with the same person every time you call or visit or if it changes.
Spend Time Searching for the Best Attorney
You’ll need the best attorney to receive the best results from your case. Therefore, take your time when searching for a lawyer to hire, so you can choose the right one for the job.
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